Gas or flatulence is a condition in which excessive air is passed through the rectum (air passed through the rectum is called gas or flatus). Gas can be caused by many causes, such as eating foods that are difficult to digest, such as fibre, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), coeliac disease, lactose intolerance, gastroenteritis, and malabsorption. Prognosis of gas is affected by the cause of flatus.
Prognosis of gas or flatulence
Flatulence because of foods: Flatulence is most often caused because of foods you eat and sometimes, by habits that cause a person to swallow air. Prognosis is good if there is no other problem that is causing gas. In these people, diet and lifestyle changes and self-care can significantly improve the symptoms. Avoiding eating foods that cause gas is important. One should avoid eating foods that are high in unabsorbable carbohydrates. Since different people react differently to certain foods, even when you eat foods that usually do not cause gas, you may continue to experience flatulence.
Flatulence in constipation: Many people experience gas because of constipation. They may pass gas often, which may be foul smelling. Flatulence may get relieved with the control of constipation by taking measures, such as drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and if needed, taking medications for constipation and gas.
Flatulence in irritable bowel disease and other intestinal problems: Prognosis of flatulence because of irritable bowel disease may not be so good as flatulence caused because of diet. Such people may have recurrent episodes of flatulence (when there is flare-up of symptoms of primary disease). Even in these people, however, it may be effectively controlled by diet changes and over-the-counter medications, such as alpha-galactosidase and probiotics.
Flatulence in food intolerance: Gas because of eating foods that you cannot tolerate, such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease improves as soon as the person avoids eating food that is problematic. Coeliac disease is a type of digestive problem caused because of intolerance to a protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley. Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body fails to digest lactose i.e. a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products.